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27 Hyundai XCIENT fuel cell trucks entering fleet service in Germany; funding from BMDV

Seven German companies in logistics, manufacturing and retail will put 27 Hyundai XCIENT Fuel Cell trucks into fleet service with funding for eco-friendly commercial vehicles from Germany’s Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV).


In August 2021, BMDV rolled out its funding guidelines for commercial vehicles with alternative drive systems upon approval by the European Commission. The funding is available for battery, fuel cell and (overhead line) hybrid electric vehicles, corresponding to refueling/charging infrastructure and related feasibility studies. BMDV will have a budget of €1.6 billion available until 2024 to purchase eco-friendly commercial vehicles.

The aforementioned seven German companies initially applied for the funding with Hyundai’s XCIENT Fuel Cells and successfully received approval from BMDV.

Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility, a joint venture between Hyundai Motor Company and Swiss company H2 Energy, has also established Hyundai Hydrogen Mobility Germany GmbH (HHMG) to actively expand its entry into the hydrogen-powered commercial vehicle market in Germany.

In order to establish a hydrogen ecosystem in the country, HHMG will operate local market sales and customer service as well as upfitter management in the market. HHMG also plans to actively participate in the second funding program.

The XCIENT Fuel Cell to be delivered is equipped with a 180-kW hydrogen fuel cell system with two 90-kW fuel cell stacks. The system’s durability and the vehicle’s overall fuel efficiency are tailored to the demands of commercial fleet customers. The 350-kW e-motor with maximum torque of 2,237 N·m enables dynamic driving performance.

XCIENT Fuel Cell’s seven large hydrogen tanks offer a combined storage capacity of around 31 kg of fuel, while a 72-kWh-powered set of three batteries provides an additional source of power. The maximum driving range is 400 km per charge. Refueling a full tank of hydrogen takes about 8 to 20 minutes, depending on the ambient temperature.

Launched in 2020 by Hyundai Motor, XCIENT Fuel Cell is the world’s first mass-produced hydrogen electric heavy-duty truck. The company has already deployed 47 units in Switzerland where they have accumulated more than four million kilometers in driving as of July 2022. The trucks are servicing 23 different customers in Switzerland.



For fleet operators trying to decarbonise it is pretty simple.

Where the distances, loads, available downtime for charging, terrain and temperature are suitable, then BEVs do the job.

Where longer distances, heavier loads, heavy duty cycle, mountainous terrain or low temperatures come into play, then fuel cell vehicles step in, so long as hydrogen stations are available in reasonable proximity.
Fuel cell vehicles at least for part of the fleet also make scheduling easier, as they are far more of a drop in replacement for diesel.

No doubt loads of folk will come in to make absolutist claims.

But they both work, and practical people will make practical decisions.

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